Australian actress Melle Stewart is reportedly “fighting for her life” after suffering from a stroke caused by the blood-clotting side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The 40-year-old actress was vaccinated on May 24 in London, where she lives with her husband.
Two weeks after taking the vaccine, Stewart woke up with “a strange feeling” on the right side of her body and was rushed to the hospital after collapsing while trying to get out of bed. She soon lost all movement on that side, as well as her ability to speak.
Stewart began having seizures and a large part of her skull had to be removed to reduce pressure on her brain.
At the hospital, Stewart was diagnosed with Vaccine-Induced Thrombocytopenic Thrombosis (VITT).
“Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome is an extremely rare condition involving low blood platelet levels and only 156 cases of the illness have been reported from nearly 13million doses of AstraZeneca administered in Australia,” the Daily Mail reports.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by relatives, Stewart continues to advocate for people to take the vaccine.
“Melle Stewart was a healthy, talented 40-year old Australian actor living and working in London with her husband, actor Ben Lewis. On May 24th 2021 Melle received her first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine. She has been and continues to be an advocate for vaccination. It was a happy day for Melle. Two weeks later on June 8th, Melle’s life changed,” the GoFundMe states.
The relative explained that “Melle had had a severe stroke, caused by two large clots in the main veins of her brain, with the pressure and low platelets causing a secondary bleed in the left frontal lobe. Melle spent 3 weeks in an induced coma during which time she was ventilated and received a number of blood transfusion procedures to help remove the antibodies created by the vaccine that were causing the clots. She was also put on heavy doses of anti-clotting and anti-seizure medication, which continue to this day.”
Stewart spent four and a half weeks in the intensive care unit before being transferred to an Acute Stroke Unit.
“On September 8th, exactly three months after being admitted to hospital, Melle was then transferred to a specialised rehabilitation hospital in London where she will undergo more intensive treatment,” the GoFundMe says.
Stewart is expected to remain hospitalized into 2022.
“The devastation caused by VITT has been profound; prior to vaccination, Melle was a fit, healthy 40-year-old, a successful professional actress, dancer and singer who had never been in hospital before. Due to the seriousness of Melle’s condition, she will remain in hospital into 2022. She continues to work hard every day relearning how to walk, talk and move her right arm and hand. Melle, a vibrant storyteller with an undying passion for language and expression, is now re-learning how to make sounds, form words and speak again. Her road to recovery will be a long one including further surgery to fit a titanium plate to replace the portion of her skull previously removed during surgery.”